Ziggurat, which means to build on a raised land, is an ancient Mesopotamia temple tower, which has a form of a terraced pyramid with continuous receding stories. Ziggurats are a form of the temple that is in common to the Assyrians, Babylonians and the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia. Ziggurat has been in existence since the third millennium BCE.
Ziggurat is built-in receding steps on a rectangular, square, or oval platform, and it takes the shape of a pyramid. The major component of the ziggurat is the sun-baked bricks and the facings of a fired brick used on the outside of ziggurat. The facing of the ziggurat is most times glazed with different shades of colors, and they have astrological significance.
The numbers of ziggurat stories can be either two through to seven, and it is topped with either a temple or a shrine. The summit can be assessed by a spiral ramp that runs from the base to the top or with a series of a ramp on the side of the ziggurat. The most famous examples of ziggurat are the Khorsabad in Mesopotamia and the great Ziggurat of Ur.
There are some religious beliefs associated with the Ziggurats in Mesopotamia. This temple is not allowed for public ceremonies or worship. They have taken as the place where the gods dwell. The gods that dwell in this temple were believed to be close to humankind. All the cities have there owned god. The only set of people that are allowed into the ziggurat are the priests whose responsibility is to care and attend to the needs of the gods. This now made the priests very powerful among the people of Sumerians. Iran has four ziggurats with the most recent discovery in Sialk, in the central part of Iran, this four ziggurat are among the thirty-two that are close to Mesopotamia and Iraq has the majority of the remaining number.
Choqa Zanbil, which is located in the western part of Iran, is among the best-preserved ziggurat and has survived the catastrophic eight years of war between Iraq and Iran of the ’80s, which destroyed most of the archeological edifice in both countries. The ranges of the designs of ziggurat are from simple bases on which a temple is set to the marvels of construction and mathematics, which spreads numerous terraced steps that are topped with a temple.
The white temple in Uruk of the ancient Sumer is an example of a type of ziggurat, the white temple is set on the base of ziggurat, reasons being that they want the temple to be closer to the heavens, and a provision to access the top was made in the form of steps. Marduk or Etemenanki ziggurat is an excellent example of a massive and extensive ziggurat located in ancient Babylon.
There are several examples of the beliefs that surround the ziggurat in ancient history. Beliefs observed in the 7 levels of the Chakra system of the Indians and the dualism of Yin Yang of the Chinese.
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